Wood siding is often valued for its aesthetic look, and it is in fact usually much more expensive because of this fact. That is the first down-side of wood siding alternatives. In addition to the high cost, wood siding requires routine care and maintenance. Wood must be treated and painted regularly to prevent common problems associated with wood. One of the most obvious concerns associated with wooden siding is termites. Termites can eat the wood siding and cause significant damage to your home and pocketbook. Also, wood is unacceptable to mold and mildew growth, caused from moisture that can permeate the wood if not properly protected.
The Advantages of Fiber Cement Siding
While fiber cement siding is typically more expensive than vinyl siding, it is far less costlier than natural wood siding alternatives. Fiber cement siding is available in a wide variety of colors and styles, such as horizontal, vertical, and shingle-style siding. The siding can be found with different patterns as well, such as wood grain or stucco, and is offered as a soffit material as well.
Fiber cement siding is typically more versatile than vinyl or wood alternatives, due to its durability. Fiber cement siding is mar-resistant, and peeling, chipping, or cracking is not as common as it is with vinyl siding. The fiber cement clapboard is significantly thicker than vinyl claddings, which gives it more resistance to damage from high winds or objects.
Unlike both vinyl and wood alternatives, fiber cement siding is flame-resistant. It is non-combustible and approved for fire-rated construction.
Fiber cement siding is naturally resistant to fungus, mildew, and termites, so there is no routine maintenance required in order to prevent these problems as with wood siding.
Although fiber cement siding is available in a wide array of colors, it can also be painted any color you choose, should you ever feel in the mood for change. Also, it will hold the paint color. This can not be accomplished with vinyl siding, as the paint will peel and crack in a reliably short period of time.
Unlike vinyl and wood siding alternatives, fiber cement is more resistant to shrinking and swelling due to changes in temperature and climate. Vinyl siding can become misshapen and sag or bow over time, caused from humidity. For this reason, fiber cement siding can be considered a lighter alternative, especially in extreme weather areas.
Fiber cement siding is promoted to last longer than both vinyl or wood siding, and is often offered with a 50 year warranty. Many vinyl and wood manufacturers and providers offer a "lifetime" warranty with their products, but "lifetime" is often open to interpretation and the details of these warranties should be thoroughly examined.
As with any siding material, the ability and experience of the installers is critical to the output of the final product and fiber cement siding should always be professionally installed be a capable, experienced specialist.